blackberry day out

I didn't mean it to end like this.

It just happened.  I got to the park yesterday and it was blackberry madness.

There were scuffles amongst the seniors, fights for the best spot, and tactical deployment manoeuvres from the sneaky blackberry picking pros.  I kid you not, welcome to blackberry day out.

I walk past these blackberry bushes every day and watch how they change. Boring in the winter, perky in the spring, pretty in the early summer and then one day in late August you walk past and bam! the full force of how amazing nature is hits you in the face, bushes laden down with juicy big berries and people fighting to get at them!

My tactic was to just act natural, pretend that I wasn't there to pick blackberries at all and hoping that my dog pooh bag receptacle added weight to this ruse.  Yes I used a pooh bag to collect my berries - classy.

Then as I sauntered, I picked, I don't need huge amounts, just enough to make Betsy smile and Mr P a fruit crumble so I was able to avoid the extreme pickers wrath. 

Most of the good stuff was gone of course, these bushes had been well and truly raided.  In some places where the bushes went quite far back people had created thorny barriers to stop all but the most hardy picker from getting at them, insane.

I managed to collect a lovely lot of berries, enough for Betsy to have some for her dinner and enough to make puff pastry blackberry tarts for pudding, summer heaven on a plate courtesy of our local park.  You don't get much better at that.


some minty love

I have the misfortune, and I mean this in the most flattering of ways, of working next to Mint Velvet.

I don't mean that the shop is next door, on my way in to work or up the high street a bit, I mean that Mint Velvet clothes are right next to my eyeballs all day.  It is hellish.

I pretty much lust after like every single thing in the freaking concession and it is starting to get embarrassing and potentially expensive.  I'm not the only one either, when Mint Velvet get something new in, everyone sidles over for a feel, sniff, try on.

Here are my most lustworthy new season items; one, two, three, four, five.  The jana print dipped hem dress will have to be mine at some stage, it only seems fair, a girl can only take so much temptation.


things i love august 2013

I am lusting after this blackbird print.  Blackbirds are the way coolest birds ever, much nicer than those evil, murderous magpies, boo, I hate them bitches.

Anyway here are some other things I love this month.   See that I got me some pretty gold hearts and Photoshop, yep I got the actual Photoshop on my mother loving computer and I am in slightly confused love with it.

Things I love: one, two, three, four.

You will have to excuse me for a while whilst I create Photoshop shite masterpieces for your visual delight.  I'll get it out of my system soon, get bored and go back to normo pictures again, I promise.


knitted love- a baby blanket

: purl soho :
I'm bereft of yarn projects at the moment.  It doesn't feel good.

So many things going on, I feel like I'm constantly dashing about, never really sitting down, sipping tea and making stuff.  It needs to stop.

So I've decided to make a baby blanket, no particular baby in mind but I sniff fresh babies in the air and all babies need a beautiful blanket to snuggle into so I'm pretty sure it will come to some use.

I'm torn between this lovely stripy guy from The Purl Bee at Purl Soho, my most favourite online knitting destination and this equally as pretty and very similar offering from the amazing Pickles girls in Norway.

: pickles:
The pickles large ridge blanket looks exactly the same, I know but it has a cute 'L-shape' effect that is appealing and apparently achieved by simply increasing either side of your middle stitch! I love that in a new knitter, easily impressed kind of way.

: pickles :
I will decide later today which one to make, I've got lots of pretty yarn stashed away so I have no excuse, I'm leaning towards the pickles one at the moment.

This is just a quick post, it's 6am and I'm supposed to be getting ready for work. Instead I thought I'd have a cup of tea and post these lovely pictures so I can go to work on a smile given that it is pouring down with rain and a bit dark and gloomy out there.

Hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.


autumn is just around the corner, I can smell it

: boden :

I love that autumn is just around the corner, I felt a chill in the air today and leaves they are a falling already, I swear it.

I love September, new notebooks and pencils, new shoes, new haircut and lovely thick tights.  Boots!  I love boots and socks and hats and black dresses.  September is the freaking best month of the year.  Really.

I love knitted dresses, bright jumpers and boots, did I mention new boots.

: boden :

Leopard print anyone?

Nobody does leopard print autumn quite like Boden, I get excited when the catalogue arrives and want to buy literally everything in it.  There is something quintessentially British about Boden, great British style is a good strapline for the brand, I couldn't have said it better myself.

I love everything about this picture; the hats, the tights never mind the tunic.

: boden :

Are you as excited as I am about September coming?  Go on, get your boots out of the cupboard and test drive some socks, you know you'll like it.


does the 2-day diet really work?

This will be a weird post to write as I'm not normally food-fixated apart from obviously loving the stuff and I've always been pretty much the same size/weight. 

Then I had a baby.  Yeah, having a baby kind of changes your body in ways that no one ever dares to mention.  Nonetheless I still managed to lose virtually all the baby weight in the months after Elizabeth's birth, all except that stubborn half a stone which will not budge - hasn't everyone got a stubborn half a stone that won't budge?

And for all my vegetarian, daily dog walking lifestyle, it does insist on clinging to me for dear life.  Then at the library I saw this book...

2-day diet book

....and thought I would have a look at it because so many friends and family have been raving about it and/or the other 5:2 diet, which I think is called The Fast Diet.

Whilst the fast diet is calorie controlled, the 2-day diet is carb controlled and for the two days that you diet you basically don't eat any carbs and very limited amounts of fruit, fats and protein.  Then for the other five days and much to my disappointment, instead of pigging out on crisps and biscuits with gay abandon you have to eat what they call a 'healthy Mediterranean diet', gutted.

After having a read of the book and the whole 5:2 concept itself (which I love),  I did think that this was potentially do-able, possibly healthy and definitely worth a try to get rid of my mate fatty bum-bum.  So armed with a jumbo pack of tofu and a dozen eggs I entered the realm of diet.

Now, I won't lie to you, this diet is not great for vegetarians.  Whilst our meat eating chums can stuff chicken, bacon and pretty much any lean meat down their cake-holes, vegetarians can only eat tofu or eggs!  I do find myself getting a bit bored of boiled eggs and stir-fry tofu and whilst I do mix it up and make different dishes from the book, it still boils down to one or the other for lunch and dinner.

I usually eat a variation of this menu on a diet day.

breakfast:   half a grapefruit

mid-morning snack:   handful of cashew nuts

lunch:   stir fry tofu with spring onions and ginger

afternoon snack:   hummus and cucumber

dinner:   ratatouille with broccoli and poached eggs

Not terrible, bit on the dull side but I don't find myself particularly hungry during the day, perhaps on the second day I start dreaming a wee bit about pasta, eyeing up the spaghetti jar and so on.  Yes, the two days are recommended to be completed consecutively because day two is supposed to be easier?!  Hmmm not entirely convinced but I do them on a Monday and Tuesday now and have settled into a bit of a routine so don't mind.

The five days are also quite interesting because the book says that because of the diet, you won't want to stuff pies in your gob on the five 'normal' days - I didn't believe this but I have to admit that it's bloody true!  I haven't been as strict on the five days as the book recommends but then I haven't been stupid either, just eating normally and having my usual treats like red wine, the odd biscuit and some of Betsy's chocolate buttons.

Now to the good bit.  Does it work?  Oh my goodness indeed it does, like a freaking dream.

I stepped on the scales after the first week wearing my Mrs Sceptic UK sash and I had lost 3lbs, jaw dropped in amazement.  Then the next week another 2lbs and whilst it slowed down a bit after that, I've still lost just over 8lbs in a month, really good huh?

I would happily recommend this to everyone (especially meat eating everyones) and especially if you only have a small parcel of fat to dispose of and would like it to disappear quickly.  I think that this one might be hard to maintain for a long period of time but then again if you are eating meat on your diet days then this diet might be brilliant over the long term too.

Definitely worth a try and recommended by me, fad diet novice 2013 - here is the link for more information.


I'm an internet hypocrite

hyp.o.crite - noun - a person who pretends to have virtues, morals or religious beliefs, principles etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

I admit it.  Perhaps others wouldn't, couldn't or probably don't even care but lately I've really noticed what a massive internet hypocrite I am.

Let me explain.

Firstly.  I publicly and loudly despise facebook.

I can't stand the over-sharing, the constant vague-booking for attention, the phony bullshit and making friends with people you don't even know or like.  I particularly can't stand people putting up crap that nobody cares about (I had peas for my dinner yo!), and yet I have a blog which by its very nature means I'm constantly churning out crap that few would/could care about.  Hypocrite.

Secondly.  I can't stand the daily mail, wouldn't be seen dead buying it or reading it for that matter but yet breakfast wouldn't be complete without a visit to the mail's sidebar of shame to see who's shagging who, pregnant, looking a bit fat, drunk or plain damn ugly.  It is the most un-newsworthy of news websites and yet I can't get off it.  It's like crack.  I once went cold turkey just to prove to Mr P that I could and was ashamed with myself when, after going a full three months without it, I was heart-pumpingly excited to visit again *hangs head in shame.

Thirdly and lastly, I like reading so called 'mommy bloggers', blogs by other people with children especially the big, popular and mainly American ones.  I like reading about their lives and even better I like looking at pictures of cute babies in cute outfits, looking freaking cuter than cute.

But I personally don't like to share photos of my girl on the internet.  I wouldn't put a picture of Elizabeth online that shows her full face or naked body or anything at all really.  I very rarely post pictures of her and when I do I try to make sure she is a bit blurry and/or her face is not fully shown.   I know it's hypocritical especially given the nature of blogging/sharing!? but I feel like Elizabeth should decide if she wants her face splashed all over the internet and so until she is old enough to make that decision for herself I reckon it's my job to safeguard her.  What a massive hypocrite huh?  Happy to look at other people's unfortunately overexposed children whilst fiercely protecting my own, not my finest moment.

There.  Confessions out of the way.  Are you a hypocritical surfer, a so-called by me... hyponet?


a crocheted thingy

Yep, I made a thingy.

I have no idea what it is, what it might be for or indeed who might like it but there it is, existing.

In fact after my big Simply Crochet moan last week, this pattern is from that exact publication.  It's called a mandala and I still don't know what it is, what it might be for or indeed who might like it, calling it a name, even a pretty name like mandala, does not help in this perplexity.

So yeah, Mr Thingy.  Pretty guy or what?  Well he might as well be pretty seeing as he's good for nothing else.

He was in fact made as a tongue-in-cheek present for my cousin who has just moved house.  Of course she was delighted to receive such a useless piece of tat as a moving in present - every house needs a crochet thingy I told her with a big grin on my face.

Mr P was horrified that I would even think about giving it to her.  It's a joke, I said.  Your jokes are not very funny, he said.


holy sweet peas, I got the job!

Holy cow, is it my imagination or are sweet peas the sweetest, prettiest peas ever?

These are from my Dad's garden, they are not only pretty as a picture but they smell gorgeous too, I like them a lot.

After my last post in which my disgustingly poor grammar made it sound like I already had the job, I felt it best to advise you that I didn't have the job at that time but lordy lord I do now!!

I am very pleased, over the moon in fact.  It is only a few hours a week but it will make all the difference to my sanity.

I've been dreaming of getting out of the house for a bit, of wearing clean clothes and high heels, having adult conversations and a bit of a giggle.  Yep sanity is going to be just fine.